Chicago Startup Dryv Launches in Second Market, DetroitBy Benjamin Seidman on August 21st, 2015 /
Going out of your way to the dry cleaners is part of one’s routine that almost all of us can agree we rarely look forward to. Almost 300 miles west of Detroit, Dryv has been curing headaches and saving time by weaving their on-demand laundry and dry cleaning experience seamlessly into their customers days.
Dryv first launched in Chicago, the third most populated city in the U.S. with close to 2.7 million residents. Dryv has been gathering data and learning how to compete in the context of a larger market. Now they are venturing to different sized markets. Accompanied by its close partner, Huntington Cleaners, Dryv launched here in Detroit, our 20th most populated U.S. city, to test and learn from the unique characteristics of “a Detroit” vs. “a Chicago”, as they examine expansions into further markets.
Founders Dan Parsons and Chris Elipas have been thrilled by their welcome into the entrepreneurial and technology community in Detroit who they say have been an absolute pleasure to work with.
“As an outsider coming in, it’s been awesome that people are helpful in connecting you with other like minded folks, help strike partnership opportunities, and help connecting with customers. Everyone is in this mindset where they just want to help the success in general of all the activities that are going on in the entrepreneurial space,” says Parsons. For Dryv, the Detroit entrepreneurial community is collaborative and supportive, a tad different than Chicago.
Dryv is currently going through a market assessment effort, looking at large and small metropolitan areas, understanding the nuances of the area itself, how it relates to the industry and how it relates to our on-demand business style. Dryv explains that there are lots of different attributes to be mindful of. There are suburbs vs. urban environment, density factors, and others as well.
“You have to think about disposable incomes and job types. We’re crawling through all of the data to really lay out a plan for where our service fits best in regards to our next markets. Detroit is another important data point in that effort” says Parsons.
For Dryv, there are some back home and around the country who ask, “Out of all markets to choose from as a second launch, why pick Detroit?” But the answer has always been simple, and they explain that this is another learning opportunity in an entrepreneurial city that has embraced them with open arms. In looking to learn how they can better cater and build their technology platform to suit all types of users in all types of environments, they are strategically positioning themselves to gather diverse sets of data.
What drives Dryv forward is learning from its customers. Dryv wants to get as many new users as possible on the platform. The types of users Dryv is looking for are any communities or organizations that they can give free cleaning to and then ultimately provide feedback on their experience.
“I think there is a lot of need in Detroit for this product and that people will get a lot of value and utility out of using the service,” Parsons says. “The perfect fits are professional organizations and companies with forward thinking employee programs.” Users can register from home but if they register with their work address, Dryv can provide ongoing promotions and discounts.
In terms of partnership, Dryv is looking for property management groups in the area.
“A lot of times they might not have any on-site dry-cleaning or laundry and there are not a ton of dry-cleaners in the downtown area so the pick up and delivery style aspect of the platform is valuable,” said Parsons.
Dryv is also looking to spread the word to organizations, online communities and press outlets. Most of all, as Dryv continues to grow and add new features and offerings to the platform, the product will continue to be developed by and for Detroit users.
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